WHITING | One huge play helped fuel an epic performance on Friday night at the Class 2A Whiting Sectional.
Whiting went on a 6-2 run and felt like it had Bowman on the ropes, but with 4:21 left in the third, sophomore center Alex Danielides had a huge block and Citlali Lopez grabbed the ball and went coast-to-coast for the layup.
The sequence was a part of a 13-2 run and the Oilers' 25 points in the quarter on their way to a 74-60 semifinal win over the Eagles.
"When we lost (senior guard) Bri (Blackwell), I knew someone had to step up and get the team pumped," said Danielides, who had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
There were 22 turnovers in an ugly first quarter with each team committing 11 apiece. Whiting (13-8) had trouble breaking Bowman's full-court press and the visiting Eagles had trouble handling the ball, as they had five traveling calls against them.
Coming off a 34-point effort against River Forest on Wednesday night, Lopez got off to another good start in the first quarter by hitting two of her first three shots while scoring six of Whiting's 16 first quarter points.
"Everyone stepped up and did what they had to do," Whiting coach Kevin Moynihan said. "CiCi was fantastic and Alex challenged herself because she knows Joshlynn King is an excellent player."
But the third quarter was big for the lightning quick guard, who had 17 of the team's 25 in the frame and she did it while battling leg pain.
"Even in pain, I put the team first," said Lopez, who scored a career-high 39 points and added five steals. "I score, I rebound, I assist all because I love them."
Bowman (8-13) continued its dribbling struggles in the second quarter by getting whistled for another five travels, which upped its turnovers in the period to nine.
The Oilers were still outscored in the second quarter 17-16 because they made nine turnovers themselves.
In the first semifinal, Bishop Noll (19-3) blasted Boone Grove 48-33.
The Warriors ran out of the gate with a 10-0 run to begin the game and the Wolves (2-16) didn't score their first points until 4:08 left in the first quarter thanks to a couple Rachel Cantwell free throws.
Three of Bishop Noll's starters didn't play in the second quarter after the team led 18-2 after one.
Boone Grove netted its first field goal of the game in the second quarter on a Sarah Brown jumper, but the Wolves outscored Noll in the quarter 15-13, putting Noll's halftime lead at 14 points.